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License Plate Gallery

License Plate Sticker Colors, Part 3: 1996-present

These tables summarize the colors of validation stickers used on passenger-car and motorcycle license plates in all North American jurisdications during the last twenty years. Stickers indicating years of issue and primary use (as opposed to dates of expiration) are noted in italics.

Several interesting trends have come about in this time. One is the increasing use of point-of-sale terminals to generate license plate renewals and print validation stickers on demand. These systems often utilize laser printers, and allow for the license plate number to be printed on the sticker itself. Unfortunately, these trends have been regressive in terms of aesthetics and utility. Thirteen of the states that use such a system don't even bother changing the sticker stock color from year to year, making it impossible to tell at a glance whether a tag has expired or not. Many more no longer use color schemes that involve print colors other than black.

Another emerging trend has been the elimination of plate stickers themselves. Due to the growing ubiquity of computers in law-enforcement work, police officers can access details about registration records without needing to rely on stickers to establish validity. Validation stickers have been eliminated altogether by Quebec, New Jersey, Connecticut, Saskatchewan, and most recently the Northwest Territories; while New York, Texas, and the D.C. currently issue stickers for windshield use and for motorcycles and trailers only.

United States
< Alabama 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Alaska 96 97 98 99 00a 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12b 13b 14b 15 16b 17
Arizona Emission 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08c 09a 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Non-emission 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Arkansas 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
California 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Colorado Emission 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Non-emission 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03
Connecticut 96 97d 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09e 10e 11e 12e Stickers discontinued.
Delaware Combined month-year stickers in various colors. f g 11g 12g 13g 14g 15g 16g 17 18
District of Columbia 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03h 04h 05e 06e 07e 08e 09e 10e 11e 12e 13e 14e 15e
Florida 96 97 98 99 00 01i 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
< Georgia 96 97 98 99 00b 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09j 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Hawaii 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04b 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Idaho 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08a 09b 10b 11 12 13 14 15 16
Illinois 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Indiana 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Iowa 96 97c 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Kansas 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
KentuckyCars 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15a 16a 17
Motorcycles 96 ?
LouisianaCars 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03a 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Motorcycles 97 98 04
Maine 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Maryland 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09ab 10a 11a 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Massachusetts 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Michigan 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Minnesota 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Mississippi 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Missouri 96 97 - 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< MontanaCars 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Motorcycles 96 97 98 99 00 01 PERM Stickers discontinued after 2003.
Nebraska 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Nevada 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04b 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
New Hampshire 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
New Jersey 96e 97e 98e 99e 00h 01 02 03 04 05 06e 07e 08e 09e 10e 11e Stickers discontinued.
< New Mexico 96 97 98 99 00 01a 02a 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
New York (motorcycles) 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
North Carolina 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16a
North Dakota 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05b 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Ohio 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Oklahoma 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
< Oregon 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pennsylvania 96 97 98 99 00 01h 02h 03h 04h 05h 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Rhode Island 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
South Carolina 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
South Dakota 96 97 98 99 00b 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Tennessee 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
< Texas (motorcycles) 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05a 06a 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14
Utah 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Vermont 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04a 05a 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Virginia 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Washington 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
West Virginia 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
< Wisconsin 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Wyoming 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

a Some examples of these stickers were black on white.

b Some examples of these stickers had black characters on a color background.

c Some examples of these stickers were white on black.

d Some examples of Connecticut '97 stickers were white on magenta:

97

e Issued to motorcycles only. Passenger cars issued windshield stickers instead (except for 2006-11 New Jersey, where no visible validation was used).

f Beginning in December 2005, newly-issued Delaware validation stickers have been black on white regardless of month and year. Expirations from December '06 to (presumably) November '10 existed in both old and new color schemes.

g Stickers used on Delaware's optional "Centennial Plate" base (introduced October 2008) have been black on gold.

h Or windshield/window sticker.

i Some examples of these stickers were black on yellow.

j Later examples of these stickers had black print and white fields on a color background.

k Used on the optional "Treasure the Chesapeake" baseplate.


Canada
< British Columbia 96a 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Alberta 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Saskatchewan 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 Stickers discontinued.
Manitoba 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Ontario Jan-Mar 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Apr-Jun 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
< Jul-Sep 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Oct-Dec 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Québec Validation stickers discontinued after 1992.
New Brunswick 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Nova Scotia 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Prince Edward Island 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
< Newfoundland & Labrador 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Yukon Territory 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Northwest Territories 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12b 13 14 15 Discontinued
Nunavutc 12 13 14 15

a Later examples of British Columbia '96 stickers were pink on white:

96

b Later examples of Northwest Territories '12 stickers were white on green:

12

c Nunavut existed as part of the Northwest Territories until 1999.

With thanks to: Keith Dickson, Jeff Ellis, Mike Franks, Eric Maki, John Northup, Matthew Thoreson.

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